Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Petite Vacation on the Petite Cote...

When we first told folks we were making this one year sabbatical move to Dakar - a common response to that was saying ' how incredible it was we were taking on this adventure' but on occasion tacked onto that would be some reference to it 'being a vacation' - and in my mind I would tell myself  and respond in a way that for clarification  "it was not a vacation".  It was not possible to see this move in that way - this was more packing a finite amount of clothes to cover a years worth of time in a limited number of bags, the process of finding and acquiring renters who would also take care of our cat, having wonderful neighbors and friends keeping tabs on the house, managing bills and mail from afar, and of course showing up with no place to live, a bank or phone and major shock with regards to the culture - "no this was not a vacation" to start....

But I'm happy to say after 4 months and working with fervor the first 2 months to adapt and adopt  - we are in a groove now - so much that I could officially deem our 4 day getaway out of Dakar over part of Parker and Addison's Christmas 
school break -  as **a vacation **.  

Here are some descriptions of this section of West Africa's  coast in Senegal - known as the Petite Cote - heavenly setting for succumbing to the pleasures of beach lounging.....The fine sandy white beaches of the Petite Cote are some of the most picturesque in West Africa..... Spend your days lounging around soaking up the radiant African sun. 

So what did we do but follow the lead of  "lounging" descriptions ... at Pierre de Lisse our hotel we booked (thank you Sigrid) - situated between two fishing villages Toubab  Dialao and Poupenguine - in other wards... for 4 luxurious days we were acting or moving lazily, loafing, passing the time idly, basking in the sun, kicking back, lolling, resting, relaxing and listening to the incredible sounds of the ocean waves....

My current book read - Catch 22 - don't ask me why....I think it's because I found it on the shelf at the Berkeley - Friends of the Library Bookstore - and thought perhaps I should add a classic to my stash I was bringing

Current Read - Charlie Bone Series

Current Reads - Parker -DragonRider, Addison - Warrior Series - Fire and Ice

If it appears that the beach and pool are deserted - it's because at times they were! The first day we arrived on Jan 2nd there were a handful more folks but the following day the place really cleared out.  No complaints, mind you, as in my mind from a 'congested' kind of place that Dakar is - this was the "anti-Dakar" in this stretch between the two fishing villages all in a good clean way!!

As I write this - post vacation-  I am hearing the birds chirping madly, the landlords dog barking, taxis tooting, moutons bleating, Senegalese family next door shouting (we hear them a lot because they have this outdoor courtyard/living area they spend a good portion of their time in), kids crying, peoples voices, pounding of concrete on an unfinished building next to us, firecrackers going off (still)- a cacophony of sounds that sometimes can get a bit grating - which leads me back to my paradise on the Petite Cote

 so when we were not lounging - we were eating...

And it was easy to enjoy the food - a simple dish of either - meat, seafood or chicken prepared  with a Senegalese or European flair   We opted for the full pension - breakfast, lunch and dinner - and we're glad we did since we did not have a car to leave and explore other venues - it just made things easier.  Parker and Addison ate every meal and the most surprising to me was they ate the yellow curry calamari dish (not shown) - which at first they said tasted like chicken. Good boys - if  you THINK it tastes like chicken and your eating it - then I won't suggest that it is something other than chicken.

And when we were not eating - time was spent making new friends and body surfing

Boys showing me how to body surf - they are the experts now
Who said you have to look good on vacation when you wake up in the morning - you just have to be relaxed!


  1. Looks like a great place to shake off the city dust!

  2. Mike - It sure was! It was like one of those brochures I've always passed by located through the window in a travel agency. I've always thought what's it like to go to a place like that - now I know!!

  3. We're having a fine time, vicariously enjoying your vacation. Pix of the food make it look really good! Hilary, you look perfectly relaxed. Maybe vacations are your thing.